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University Certificate of CPD in Teaching Learners with Additional Needs (SEND) Level 5

  • L5
  • HE

This is a 45 credit ‘in-service’ Specialist CPD University Certificate for teachers who work with learners who have recognised Special Educational Needs & Disabilities (SEND), e.g. Dyslexia, Dyscalculia, Dyspraxia, Autism, Asperger's Syndrome and PMLD. It allows a teacher to become a SEND Subject Specialist. The programme is recognised by the Department for Education and Skills and incorporates the 2014 Education and Training (ETF) teacher teaching standards. It is recommended for both teachers and Additional Support staff. It is suitable for any person who delivers in whole or part to learners with a recognised disability. This course will provide specialist professional training in the subject knowledge for staff working with Disabled Learners in post-compulsory education. Although applicants should be aware that all teachers of SEND learners are required to gain a full initial teaching qualification (CertEd/PGCE) in addition.

This standalone University Certificate is worth 45 H.E credits at Level 5. Although a standalone qualification the credit can be used towards a degree at a University. Learners will consider how to plan and deliver inclusive learning and teaching, how to work with others to promote the inclusion of disabled learners, and understand specialist areas of disability (e.g. Dyslexia, Dyscalculia, Dyspraxia, Autism, Asperger's Syndrome and PMLD). Learners will also investigate practice in an area of disability and apply this learning to their own practice.

Validated by, and leads to an award of, the University of Bedfordshire

The University of Bedfordshire is a registered trademark and its logo is used by The Bedford College Group with full permission in relation to course partnerships.

Entry requirements

This qualification will provide continuing professional development (CPD) for those who already have a generic teaching/training qualification. It will also provide an opportunity to develop knowledge and skills for teaching this area of specialism for those that are not required to have a formal teacher training award (e.g. Additional Support staff). You will need to have access to 50 hours of teaching learners with disabilities. At interview you will need to demonstrate personal skills appropriate for a member of the teaching profession.

Course content

This is a one year part-time course and weekly attendance is required.

This course covers:

  • Impact of a specific impairment
  • How to investigate effective practice in a specialist area
  • Investigate practice in a specialist area
  • Key theories and research
  • Impact of policy and regulatory frameworks on provision
  • Knowledge of Disabilities
  • Learners and their needs
  • Planning and delivery
  • Reflecting, evaluating and improving own practice

Assessment methods

This course will be assessed via:

  • Case Study: 2,000 word Assignment
  • Literature Review: 2,000 word Assignment
  • Action Research: 3,000-5,000 words & presentation
  • Teaching File (Including Observation of Teaching)

Most of the taught sessions will be used for discussions and group exercises which students will need to supplement with independent study. Assessment on the course is via a system of credits. Credits are awarded when students can demonstrate through a portfolio of work, assignment or presentation that they have met the Learning Outcomes of the modules. Some Learning Outcomes are related to practical skills, others to knowledge gained. When students have gained credits for all the modules, they receive the overall award. All assessments are subject to moderation by the University and also by an external moderator.

There will be a practice requirement as this qualification will assess and provide evidence of competence in a teaching, training or additional support role. Learners will require 50 hours of practice with trainees observed and assessed a minimum of four times, covering a minimum of four hours.

Further study and career options

Professional Formation for Teachers and Trainers in the Lifelong Learning and FE Sector (QTLS/ATLS) or further University of Bedfordshire certificates.

Additional information


  • Understand key theories and research which informs learning and teaching of disabled young people and adults
  • Understand factors including policy, regulatory frameworks and the curriculum influencing inclusive practice for disabled learners
  • Understand specialist areas of disability and their impact on learning
  • Be able to plan and use inclusive learning and teaching for disabled learners
  • Understand the impact of a specific impairment on teaching and learning
  • Evaluate own strengths and areas for improvement in a specific area of professional practice.

Successful applicants will become a student at both Bedford College and the University of Bedfordshire and will therefore have access to both sets of facilities and amenities within each institution.

Pay by instalments

The College offers an instalment plan for Further Education and Higher Education courses to students where the total amount payable at the point of enrolment is £200 or more. Within the scheme there is an ability to pay up to 6 instalments, depending on the length of the courses and the final payment must be paid at least a month before the end of the course.

Course Information & How to Apply

To apply online, select the 'Apply' button below. You will need to register an account and then you can follow the instructions on screen.

LengthStart DateDay(s)Time(s)FeesLocationCourse Code
26 weeks 27/09/2021 Tue 6.00 pm - 8.00 pm £1500 Cauldwell Street BBA162 Apply

Part-time course already started?

Our upcoming 2021-22 part-time courses will be out in May. Get alerted when they're released by selecting your campus of choice below and filling out the relevant form:

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Additional Learning Support
If you have a specific learning difficulty or disability, are deaf or hearing impaired, our Additional Learning Support team are on hand to give you assistance whenever you need it.  Find out more.

Autism & Asperger’s Syndrome Support
At Bedford College, we are committed to developing the provision for students on the autistic spectrum, including Asperger’s Syndrome.  Find out more.

We have access arrangements in place to help students with disabilities or any other particular needs. Call us on 01234 291000 for more information.

Additional formats
Course information sheets are also available in large print and audio formats. Call us on
01234 291000 to order your copy.